Seniors often focus on trying to prevent diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, that can shorten their life span. However, they may overlook the importance of fall prevention for keeping themselves healthy. These six consequences associated with falls should be all it takes to encourage you and your senior loved one to implement a fall prevention plan at home.
1. Seniors Often Wait for Help
The thought of your loved one being stuck on the floor for hours may be unsettling. While seniors should always use technology such as smartphones and wearable alarms, it’s possible your loved one could fall without access to such devices. If this happens, your loved one could be stuck with an injury alone for hours or days, which increases the odds of long-term effects on health. In addition to creating a safe living area, make sure to have someone check in your loved one at least once a day.
If you’re worried about leaving your loved one unattended due to personal and professional responsibilities, consider working with an in-home caregiver. Huntsville respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
2. Head Injuries Have Long-Term Effects on Cognitive Abilities
When seniors fall, they may not be able to brace themselves in a way that protects the head. Head injuries are common for older adults, and even a minor concussion could cause injury to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries can create lifelong issues with memory and reasoning abilities.
3. Physical Injuries Influence Emotional Health
Any illness or injury places a person at risk of developing short-term feelings of sadness. However, a fall during the senior years could cause your loved one to experience so much anxiety about getting hurt again that he or she might quit doing things such as bathing. If the injury was serious, your loved one might also develop depression that stems from the loss of abilities.
In addition to depression and other emotional issues, aging adults often face changes in physical health. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Huntsville families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Falls After a Surgery Interfere with Healing
Your loved one’s fall risk goes up anytime he or she is recovering from a surgical procedure. Medication side effects combined with general body weakness set up the perfect conditions for a serious fall. Falling after a surgery could rupture sutures or re-injure the area that was just repaired, resulting in a longer and more intensive hospital stay.
5. A Full Recovery Isn’t Always Possible
When younger people break an arm or a leg, they can usually expect to regain the full use of that limb. Seniors aren’t always so fortunate. Many common fall-related injuries are difficult for seniors to recover from completely. Losing the full functionality of an essential body part such as the hands or legs limits a senior’s independence.
6. Future Falls Become More Likely to Occur
Reduced mobility is a common consequence for seniors after a fall, and being unable to get around properly makes it even more likely to fall again. For example, a weak leg may not be able to support your loved one taking a step up on a curb or putting his or her full weight on it when getting out of bed.
Falls due to weakened joints and muscles are a leading cause of injury among older adults. You can prevent fall-related injuries by seeking professional senior care services. A dedicated caregiver will work closely with your loved one to ensure he or she remains safe at all times. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same home care services. Huntsville families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To learn more about senior safety and elderly home care, contact us at (256) 716-9940.